Paying for College without Student Loans

Learn 13 ways to avoid student loan debt burden and how to pay college tuition and fee without a student loan.

Posted by Gowtham Ramesh on 28th March 2019

It's obvious that Student loan debt is sky rocking and has reached a whopping $1.5 trillion with compromises of both the Federal Student Loan and Private Student loan.

It's very clear that education at the college gets more expensive and education seems like increasing every year. The federal student loan is an excellent way to get students to pay for their college and school fees, well it doesn't cover all the total cost it varies based on the college that you go. Thousands of students complete their graduation with a huge debt on their back with no clue on how to pay off it sooner.

The Private Student loans are with higher interest rate comparing to the federal student loans where their fees for delayed payments and other feature which can make the private loans less favorable.

The student loan might look like the simplest option but in reality its different the time due to pay off your student loan debt might take for several years, Some times you get graduated with thousands of dollars as debt. You need to be on a budget and with the college that you have chosen where it can help and save you with the tuition.

Let's look for alternative well there are plenty of approaches available out there which can help you in attending college without the burden of Student loan debt where it can be found with the help of extra research and hard work you may able to get out of it but it's little complicated it can serve you better choices than being drowned with the student loan debt.

Table of Content

  1. Are student loans a bad idea?

  2. Statistics Report

  3. Pay through cash

  4. Apply for Aid

  5. Choose affordable and right school

  6. Community College

  7. Apply for Scholarships

  8. Grants

  9. Work from school

  10. Work-study programs

  11. Off-Campus jobs

  12. Live off the campus

  13. Stay on Budget

  14. Go with honors

  15. Employer reimbursement programs

  16. Tip for parents on teaching kids for a debt-free college.

  17. How to pay for college without student loans FAQs

Are student loans a bad idea?

We get that parents do whatever they want to keep their child on the line of success that's where the real problem starts people want it so bad they get ended making some huge mistakes by entering into the debts.

Well, Borrowing money for college or skipping college is not a difficulty you don't need to do any of these. To get a fabulous education and outstanding career opportunities there are plenty of options out there without making huge debts.

People who are buried under a huge debt are not worried about the money as they are stuck with the stress and pain of student loan monthly payments. They are walking into their future with a huge debt difficulty for them and their parents who have co-signed for them.

Statistics Report

According to the Federal Reserve, shows that the American owe a total of $1.4 trillion as in student debt loan.

An average student debt per graduate is estimated is $37,712

70% of the graduates have borrowed certain money for their education.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the average time period for a graduate degree holder to pay back their loans is around 21 years.

That's right an average time taken to repay is 2 decade. It's no brainer why people rethink about student loans. Debt seems to be normal but the duration that takes to complete is way more than we expected. Well, there are ways to get debt free degrees with a well-planned option.

Pay through cash

A well funded and budgeted own money for a special purpose is a thoughtful and useful process for paying for any action. which can be of going to college. It's the duty of parents to look and start saving for their future education.

Apply for Aid

People who want to get into college requires to fill a form known as Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form to figure out the school and how much money can they offer for your attendance with the supportive aid.

  • The FAFSA form is for you where you need to complete each school year.

  • The duration which takes place for filling out the form is around an hour.

  • This covers all types of aids from federal grants, Work-study program, and school-aid. It also covers loans which is a bad suggestion.

  • The deadline for applying is 06/30/19 for the 2018-2019 school year.

  • For corrections and updates of 2018-2019 can be done till 09/14/19.

  • To apply for 2019-2020 school year it opens on 10/01/18.

  • Fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1

Based on your financial need the school you choose you can able to get the education covered by either Grants or Aid either from school or state.

Choose affordable and right school

If we are considering a school the following generally comes on first even though it's not the core important factor. Recognition of the college name, The dorms size, and the Football programs. The only relevant question from this point is Can I pay for it without student loan?

Down the lane, the only question is to find a school which you can afford. Which results in the adjusting of expectations and stop the dream of other schools.

It would be a total real if you can reach for getting a sufficient scholarship and grants then you can go to the dream college with debt-free. Staying out of the debt is the key point.

Community College

All around America there are great schools called community college. This allows people to get college credits on the way to a degree which is cheaper rates than getting in a 4-year school after high school. After a period of 2 years getting information about the basics. you might transfer for a 3 year or 4year school which provides a bachelor's degree.

A lot of people assume that after 2 years in community college it will hurt when they got for a job after completion of graduation well the fact is few employers ever notice that further, their main concern is whether they hold a degree and their major.

Directional Schools

A tip to understand better on how funding works for State schools. Utmost every state has a flagship school with most academic research happens and several other school focus on teaching. Directional schools don't focus on the classroom experience it also has cheaper tuition fees.

Trade Schools

With the 4 year school and community college, you shouldn't leave the Trade school option where people enjoy working all kind of practical skills from electrical works, Mechanics, Plumbing and home inspections with high valuable training from experts. Its a cheaper and shorter than a bachelors degree.

Apply for Scholarships

Scholarships are the greatest tool for the family and you in the process where it covers schools without any loans as it's been funded as you earned it and no need of repaying it back.

Scholarships are a great way to go for college without any debt it's very agile the money is received in the form of award letter from the committees. Recommend people to spend time on their summer breaks and weekends for filling out every scholarship opportunity.

 Follow our 13 tips for paying for college and avoid student loans.

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The information is available on the tips of your finger that is internet do frequently research on the scholarships and deadlines. Get prepared to write some essays on personal experiences and on career goals. Look into the office of yours and spouse to find out any scholarships are provided for the employee's children.

Get in touch with the community, business groups and charities to get information on whether your children apply for scholarships. It's basically awarded on the community service or high school GPA.

Local Scholarships

Its the option which is very near you and needs to keep an eye on it talk with the guidance counselor and further like Chamber of commerce, communities group and finally your employers to get information on it.

National scholarships

The global web (internet) is filled with people who provide college money. You can enter a scholarship from anything category to win it. look into trusted and reputed websites to get the right one.

Military scholarships

If any of your parents have served in the military or you planning to serve.

if you are considering it then make use of them from active duty member benefits to veterans and their families

School-related scholarship

Before getting into the campus as a freshman. Get in with the admission office on the financial aid office or the department head of the major or the athletic director if you need it on the sports related.

There are a lot of scholarship opportunities out there based on various categories from athletics, cultural and community experiences, majors and accomplishment. If you are lucky you might find football scholarships.etc


Grants for college are held for students who show a certain amount of financial requirement which is provided by the state and federal government by the private organizations too. Some work great for a group of students like first-generation college students, based on the area they take.

These are given in the form of awards by the organization and other federal assistance programs. In order to qualify for these, you required to fill out the FAFSA with a little more research based on options available for you. Still, if you cannot get any aid you can contact state grant agency for further possibilities of aid.

These grants from colleges and governments where you don't require to pay it back. Its awarded based on the income report from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

If you have received a grant you will be entered in the financial aid award letter from the school sometimes you get it along the acceptance letter or later in the timeline.

According to the last year data the undergraduate at a public college gets an average of $5,000 in the form of grants and students from the private college get an average of $16,700. The larger grants usually come from within the college itself.

Federal Aid

To apply for a pell grant or any other federal aid you need to fill out FAFSA. It automatically intents you for a student loan unless you confirm it otherwise. Head the following to your college financial aid office for the accept of scholarship or grant.

State aid

pay closer attention to your grade, test score and in extracurricular activities. On the time of arrival of applying to send all the paperwork as early as possible as states usually put a cap on their financial aid, it's better to be first on their list to get aid.

Work from school

Working on your free time during school can really help you to overcome some expenses. Try to understand the work-life and academic-life balance. If you can able to pull it off then you are ready to proceed for it.

Many people and students feel that a little exposure to the outside can help you to boost your academic life in terms of performance.

Work-study programs

It allows you to work part time as you study in school. you can know whether you are eligible through the FAFSA letter. Work-study jobs are from the campus ( not necessarily) where it will be convenient for you to do both actions.

Off-Campus jobs

There are many jobs available out of there for college students where they can make better cash through it. The options available for you might be a customer service job which can go on hand to hand with your part-time schedule. Well, it brings money through working for waiting tables, Parking cars or working at the mall. Streamline your search to look for office related jobs so it can help you in the career.

Live off the campus

When it comes to significant expenses of college it's the cost of room and boarding. There is a way to ver come and eliminate it. Whether you commute from your own apartment to the class can really help you in saving money.

Generally, people see that one of you might not like these possibilities. Look the college year as the season where you sacrifice some to have a debt-free life. you can pass it and get over it to achieve it.

Stay on Budget

It might not be that good but still, it will work out. It's worth the time to get to know how to stick on a budget before you get on to college.

Being proactive towards your monthly income and expenses in a list of every dollar that you have earned will help you understand and take ownership of other expenses here college. You will get insight on why you want to avoid loans. You will learn how much is it cost for food, clothing, and rent for college might make you serious.

Go with honors

This sort of new program that is now entering in. This American honors will help you to guarantee the admission that you require from the reputed schools. If you hold the required work and maintain a stable and steady grade point of average.

The cost of going to the American honor is about $3,000 per semester in the tuition and fees. It might be more than what you see in the Community college but it has the perk of reputed school name as a guaranteeing on the admission down the lane is easy.

Employer reimbursement programs

There is a lot of differences in the employment from the old days where now companies like Chipotle, Starbucks, and Chrysler now provide expansion and addition to their employee's tuition reimbursement in the years.

Starbucks will pay half of your tuition fees for their freshmen and sophomore years. If you go to the junior year college they will offer you full tuition reimbursement for both the senior and junior too. To qualify this in the Starbucks employees need to work a minimum of 20 hours a week. there is no minimum length of service required. you can move out after completion of graduate there are no hooks attached.

Want to go to college without racking up student loan debt?

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Walmart even announced that they will be subsidizing all their 1.4 million employees college tuition where you can enroll in the courses in business or supply chain management from campus or through online from these three universities.  They are required to pay $1 per day for the cost of classes and required to work here after completion of their degree.

Tip for parents on teaching kids for a debt-free college.

If you help your child with the basic tip on how to be a debt-free person from the college then you mostly will able to see them thanking you later times.

Baby steps

Before getting the pay for your college make sure that you are finances are in the right way. Baby steps mean that you need to have a debt-free life with the emergency funds of 3-6 months of expenses in the bank to help you with it if any sudden issues occur

Start a bank account for them

Let them start when they are with you. If they are working let their paycheck deposited into their accounts. If you keep money aside to get clothes or other necessary items put that money into the new account where they can learn how to budget and track the expenses.

How to pay for college without student loans FAQs

1. Can you pay for college out of pocket?

There are alternatives available where you need to do full-time work in the summer in order to save the money for the school and further consider community college or junior college or better head for an in-state public university where it will cost you lesser than a private or state college.

2. How can I graduate without student debt?

There are some tips and options in which you can help yourself to get out of the student debt if you follow it down the lane.

  • Apply for Grants

  • Work from school

  • Apply for scholarships

  • Work-study programs

  • Go for employer reimbursement programs

  • Apply for Aid

3. Can I go to college without filling out FAFSA?

Removing the parent section in the FAFSA will make you no federal financial aid or loans. But still, you may qualify to receive financial aid through the unsubsidized Stafford loans it's limited to the school whether to give or not.

Move ahead and look for an opportunity to get for making earnings. Look for a job where it can really help you pay. Live near the home to get free food and other perks. look for community colleges and other benefits from the government like scholarships and financial aids.

4. How to attend college without student loans?

There some options which can help you to stay out of student loans at the same time you can go to college. You can work while you are in school. look for a work-study program and then get enrolled in it so it will help you.

Apply for scholarships and grants make better use of employer reimbursement.

5. Is it possible to go to college debt free?

Certain colleges provide students the opportunities under the qualifying financial aid with the criteria for Federal Pell Grant. Where they allow tuition in return of part-time student employment. It will be feasible for funding to reduce the stress of student debt.

6. Can you graduate college without debt?

There are around 7/8 of students graduate with a no debt graduate from a college with an annual tuition fee of $10,000 or lesser. Students are allowed to choose a borrow from their respective schools from their share of college cost but it doesn't include as a student loan.

7. What is the maximum income to qualify for financial aid?

The Scholarship tax credit for families is with the income up to $90,000 and $180,000 if you are married. Note that the student employment will have a huge and big impact on the aid that you are eligible exclusively for the independent students.

8. Does student income affect financial aid?

Income which is earned by the parents and a dependent student is not considered for minimal living expenses and tax payments. FAFSA protects student income of $6,660 whereas for parents it depends on the number of household and members in the college. Income protection for a married couple with 2 children in college is at $25,400.

9. Can you pay for college with cash?

Yes, you can pay cash for your school whether you are paying it from your own or your children's college paying in cash can be done and not falling for the student loan debt is the key point to remember.

10. How do you qualify for grants?

To qualify for grants there are certain requirements which include filling up a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submitting it. Also, You should be a citizen enrolled in a degree at college or school.

Undergraduate students who are in full-time or part-time schooling. Funding for a part-time student is lesser than a full-time student. enrolling into a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program will help you in Pell grand which from the federal government.